Bottled water under fire

Environmentalists are taking aim at the $9 billion bottled water industry, which has enjoyed nearly double-digit growth for the past 10 years. The Earth Policy Institute, a Washington, DC-based environmental group, published a research study critical of bottled water for producing unnecessary garbage and using vast quantities of energy in bottle production and packaging and transport of the product.

“Bottled water costs more than gasoline,” the report said. Satisfying the U.S. demand alone requires 1.5 million barrels of oil a year.

The Container Recycling Institute says about 90% of bottles made from PET, many of which contain bottled water, end up in landfills rather than recycling centers. Some manufacturers are beginning to investigate biodegradable plastic for bottled water containers.

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